Tomb discovered in Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town merits further investigation

The site at Saint Mary's Close car park, next to the Old Town Hall, where the discovery was made.
The site at Saint Mary's Close car park, next to the Old Town Hall, where the discovery was made.

A tomb discovered underneath a Hemel Hempstead car park by civil engineers is to undergo further investigation.

The secret chamber was first found in June as contractors Jackson, working on behalf of Dacorum Borough Council, started the process of replacing the Old Town’s St Mary’s Close car park.

A radar scan similar to that used to unearth the body of 15th century king Richard III was carried out shortly afterwards. But the Diocese of St Albans, under which control of St Mary’s Church falls, says permission needed for dealing with the burial is like a planning permission process.

Spokesman Arun Kataria said: “Further investigation of the site where burials have been found is required and legal directions regarding the burials from the Diocesan Chancellor, a judge, are awaited. He is in the process of gathering the necessary information for him to come to a view. We understand that this process is proceeding as quickly as possible.”

Other roadworks in the Old Town are continuing, with the road already being used as a one-way system. Jackson says it is not expecting to be put behind schedule by the tomb investigation.